3rd Dip Day Persimmon Dye

After 3 dips in 3 days, this is the color card for the green persimmon dye. You can see the original fabric was very white. The literature on using persimmons says it makes fabrics water resistant and can be painted onto paper or fiber bowls. It was difficult to make the fabric soak up the persimmon after the first day and you could see the moisture bead on the linen piece.  The dupioni silk piece didn’t react and there was very little color change on day 2 so I didn’t bother on day 3. The deepest change was on the rayon piece and I found that same thing using indigo. I’m thinking that rayon is going to be my fabric of choice.

We will pick persimmons again in a week or so, right before they start to turn color and see if that pick makes a difference. In the meantime, I have some experimenting to do with painting on the juice with and without mordants to see what comes out.  I also haven’t tried stitching through this yet so more experimenting.

persimmon dip3

Arkansas Astringent Persimmon Dye

I discovered the information on using persimmon for dyeing over the winter last year. From my reading they need to be the astringent kind, not the sweet ones in the market…the ones that taste like straight alum and send your face into a pucker that lasts into next week. Yep…that’s the kind we have. I have waited patiently for the wild persimmon tree to set fruit. About a week and a half ago Ron and I picked a bucket full of green persimmons, this is when they have the most tannin in them.

They can be used as a tannin mordant and pre-mordant or with successive dips they give wonderful shades of burnt orange. The more dips and the longer it cures in the sun, the darker the color. Or that’s what we have read so we are experimenting.

This is the photo of  some of the persimmons after soaking in a bucket for over a week. The water looks like Lake Okeechobee in Florida full of tannin.

persimmon soak 1week

I used my Cuisinart Food Processor to grind these up. The Japanese textile blog I saw this on grates them to use them unfermented.

After soaking again overnight they more than doubled in volume. This pan was full to the top!

ground persimmon

According to the information I’ve found on this, the cloth must be exposed to the sun and heat. Well, its pretty hot in Arkansas today so I had to try some cloth in the green goo. I used a piece of white handkerchief linen and a piece of white  rayon. Scoured, of course. The pink spiderweb shibori was a piece Ron did  at Arrowmont and was dyed in a madder exhaust. I soaked them in water first, then lay them on the top of the pot, not caring if some of the ground persimmon got on them.  I was shocked at how much color from a single dip and you can see the backside hasn’t been in the sun as long. I can’t wait to dip these again tomorrow . We are expecting 100 degrees so they should do well in the sun.

persimmon dye dip1 persimmon overdye1

Cabbage Anyone?

I guess I’m late with this, should have experimented with cabbage a few weeks ago around St. Pat’s Day.

I had a half head of purple [red] cabbage that was going to waste so thought I would give it a go as a dye. Ron and I first took crinkled gauze scarves that were mordanted in alum and soda ash, chopped the cabbage and rolled them like eco dyeing. We cooked them along with the the cores, let them stay in the pot overnight and had a great dark pink since we used lemon juice with the water, as per Sasha Druer’s book.  We were super happy, until we rinsed them and lost nearly all the color. Bummer.

Not wanting to totally admit defeat, I put the pot back on the burner and scrunched in a pail yellow silk scarf , a scrap of white linen that had only been scoured and a yard of pale silver silk dupioni.  Remember, there are no mistakes with dyeing and surface design, just creative opportunities so if they failed, too, I wasn’t too worried.  The linen turned out  a nice pink, the yellow silk a nice golden color and the silver silk a luscious lavendar. Even the hemp we tied up the gauze with took the dye nicely. The scarves? Not so much. They will be wrapped with black beans and steamed to see what we get. The noticeable brown spots are from a tea bag I tossed into the dye pot. Until next time…..

purple cabbage dyeing




Something New Finished

DSCN0038janicepainedawesRose leaves printed on silk

Outlined and hand quilted with eucalyptus and copper dyed thread

Framed with natural linen

Backed and bordered with vintage African cotton

Will be available on Etsy soon!